Davis, Chief Justice:
In this certified question action, this Court is asked to determine the application of the West Virginia borrowing statute, i.e., W. Va. Code § 55-2A-2 (1959) (Repl. Vol. 2008), (See footnote 1) to a medical malpractice action where the initial act of negligence occurred in a foreign jurisdiction, but further injuries related to that negligence occurred in West Virginia. We find that the borrowing statute has no application to the unique facts presented in this action.
was negligent toward [Mrs. Willey], in one or more of the following particulars:
a. failing to exercise a degree of care and skill ordinarily exercised by other physicians in like and similar conditions, thereby falling below the acceptable standard of care;
b. failing to possess the degree of knowledge ordinarily possessed by other physicians in like and similar circumstances, thereby falling below the acceptable standard of care;
c. perforating the sigmoid colon during the performance of a laparoscopic tubal ligation,
d. failing to recognize that he had perforated the colon . . . .
On May 18, 2009, Dr. Bracken submitted a Revised Motion for Summary Judgment in which he asserted that, pursuant to W. Va. Code § 55-2A-2, West Virginia's borrowing statute, the court was required to apply the statute of limitations of the State of Ohio, because Mrs. Willey's tubal ligation was performed in Ohio. (See footnote 2) Following a hearing on June 26, 2009, the circuit court denied Dr. Bracken's motion. The circuit court concluded that the Willeys' cause of action accrued in West Virginia, based upon its finding that her injury occurred in West Virginia. Nevertheless, the circuit court certified the following questions to this Court:
1. Does a cause of action for medical negligence accrue, for the purposes of the West Virginia borrowing statute, W. Va. Code § 55-2A-2, in the State of West Virginia or the State of Ohio where the Defendant doctor is a West Virginia doctor, where the plaintiff is a West Virginia resident, where the doctor-patient relationship between the plaintiff-patient and defendant-doctor is established in the state of West Virginia, where the Defendant-doctor performs a tubal ligation in the state of Ohio, with no immediate injury, where the defendant-doctor chose the location for the tubal ligation procedure, where the tubal ligation is the only procedure which occurred in the state of Ohio in the course of the patient-doctor relationship between plaintiff and defendant, and where the plaintiff-patient suffers a sigmoid colon rupture in the State of West Virginia in the week following the tubal ligation procedure?
2. Does the West Virginia Borrowing statute, W. Va. Code § 55-2A-2[,] apply to a medical negligence claim where the Defendant, a West Virginia physician, admits that both the substantive and procedural law of the state of West Virginia applies [sic] to the plaintiff's claim?
3. As a matter of public policy, should the West Virginia borrowing statute be construed so as not to bar a claim for medical negligence by a West Virginia resident patient, where the defendant doctor is a West Virginia doctor, where the Plaintiff is a West Virginia resident, where the doctor-patient relationship between the plaintiff-patient and defendant-doctor is established in the State of West Virginia, where the defendant-doctor performs a tubal ligation in the state of Ohio with no immediate injury, where the defendant-doctor chose the location for the tubal ligation procedure, where the tubal ligation is the only procedure which occurred in the state of Ohio in the course of the patient-doctor relationship between Plaintiff and Defendant, and where the Plaintiff-patient suffers a sigmoid colon rupture in the state of West Virginia in the week following the tubal ligation procedure?
In its Certification Order, the circuit court expressly concluded that
the West Virginia Borrowing Statute, W. Va. Code § 55-2A-2, does not bar the Plaintiff's clams for medical negligence pursuant to the Ohio one-year statute of limitations as the Plaintiff's cause of action did not accrue per the statute in the State of Ohio. Rather, this Court found that the Plaintiff's cause of action for medical negligence accrued in the state of West Virginia, where the injury occurred.
By order entered March 30, 2010, this Court accepted the certified question for review.
When a surgical procedure is negligently performed in a foreign jurisdiction, and as a direct result of that negligence the plaintiff/patient must undergo a subsequent surgical procedure in West Virginia, does the West Virginia borrowing statute, W. Va. Code § 55-2A-2 (1959) (Repl. Vol. 2008), apply?
The issue raised in the foregoing question requires that we examine the borrowing statute to determine whether it applies to the circumstances presently before the Court. Before engaging in our analysis, we observe that [t]he primary object in construing a statute is to ascertain and give effect to the intent of the Legislature. Syl. pt. 1, Smith v. State Workmen's Comp. Comm'r, 159 W. Va. 108, 219 S.E.2d 361 (1975). However, if a statute is plain, this Court lacks authority to construe its provisions, and we must, instead, apply its clear terms. When a statute is clear and unambiguous and the legislative intent is plain, the statute should not be interpreted by the courts, and in such case it is the duty of the courts not to construe but to apply the statute. Syl. pt. 5, State v. General Daniel Morgan Post No. 548, Veterans of Foreign Wars, 144 W. Va. 137, 107 S.E.2d 353 (1959).
The West Virginia borrowing statute states that [t]he period of limitation applicable to a claim accruing outside of this State shall be either that prescribed by the law of the place where the claim accrued or by the law of this State, whichever bars the claim. W. Va. Code § 55-2A-2. (See footnote 3) This Court previously has recognized that W. Va. Code, 55-2A-2, provides that where a claim accrues beyond state boundaries, the shorter limitation, West Virginia's or the foreign limitation, shall govern such action. Oakley v. Wagner, 189 W. Va. 337, 340, 431 S.E.2d 676, 679 (1993). We have further declared that [t]he spirit of W. Va. Code, 55-2A-2  clearly favors the extinguishment of the claim. Hayes v. Roberts & Schaefer Co., 192 W. Va. 368, 371, 452 S.E.2d 459, 462 (1994).
The parties to this action contend that the certified question may be resolved based upon the meaning of the term accrue as used in W. Va. Code § 55-2A-2. Dr. Bracken submits that, [g]enerally, a cause of action accrues (i.e., the statute of limitations begins to run) when a tort occurs . . . . Syl. pt. 3, Stuyvesant v. Preston Cnty. Comm'n, 223 W. Va. 619, 678 S.E.2d 872 (2009) (quoting Syl. pt. 1, Cart v. Marcum, 188 W. Va. 241, 423 S.E.2d 644 (1992), overruled in part on other grounds by Dunn v. Rockwell, 225 W. Va. 43, 689 S.E.2d 255 (2009)). Therefore, he urges, this Court should find that the Willeys' claim accrued in Ohio, where her tubal ligation was performed. (See footnote 4)
The Willeys, on the other hand, submit that Mrs. Willey's injury was sustained in West Virginia when her sigmoid colon actually perforated. The Willeys further contend that '[a] cause of action accrues in the state where the final significant event essential to the
bringing of a claim occurs . . . .' Hayes v. Roberts & Schaefer Co., 192 W. Va. at 371, 452 S.E.2d at 462 (quoting Rostron v. Marriott Hotels, 677 F. Supp. 801, 802 (E.D. Pa. 1987)). (See footnote 5) Relying on Syllabus point 4 of Gaither v. City Hospital, Inc., 199 W. Va. 706, 487 S.E.2d 901 (1997), (See footnote 6) the Willeys argue that West Virginia courts treat the concept of injury as a separate and distinct event when applying the discovery rule to a statute of limitations in negligence cases, and the same rationale should be applied here. (See footnote 7) Furthermore, the Willeys contend that, because the instant case is a negligence action, all the essential elements of the claim had to exist before the action accrued. Atkinson v. Harman, 151 W. Va. 1025, 1031, 158 S.E.2d 169, 173 (1967) (These elements of duty, breach and injury are essential to actionable negligence and in the absence of any of them the action must fall.).
We are unpersuaded by the parties' arguments as to how the borrowing statute should be applied in the case sub judice. The Willeys' complaint alleges that Dr. Bracken was negligent toward Mrs. Willey by perforating the sigmoid colon during the performance of a laparoscopic tubal ligation, and by failing to recognize that he had perforated the colon. (Emphasis added). Thus, from the allegations in the complaint, it is clear that at least part of the cause of action accrued in the State of Ohio. If the complaint in this matter rested solely upon damages resulting from the injury caused in Ohio, this Court would not hesitate to find that the borrowing statute applies. See W. Va. Code § 55-7B-4 (1986) (Repl. Vol. 2008) (A cause of action for injury to a person alleging medical professional liability against a health care provider arises as of the date of injury.). See also Syl. pt. 1, Jones v. Trustees of Bethany College, 177 W. Va. 168, 351 S.E.2d 183 (1986) (The statute of limitations ordinarily begins to run when the right to bring an action for personal injuries accrues[,] which is when the injury is inflicted.). However, as will be shown, the complaint in this case also seeks relief for harm caused in the state of West Virginia. Ultimately, the unique facts of this case demand that, as a matter of public policy, the mere fact that an injury occurred in another jurisdiction will not automatically invoke the borrowing statute where additional injury occurs in West Virginia. (See footnote 8)
This Court has previously recognized that,
'[p]ublic policy is that principle of law which holds that no person can lawfully do that which has a tendency to be injurious to the public or against public good even though no actual injury may have resulted therefrom in a particular case to the public.' Cordle v. General Hugh Mercer Corp., 174 W. Va. at 325, 325 S.E.2d at 114 (quoting Allen v. Commercial Cas. Ins. Co., 131 N.J.L. 475, 477-78, 37 A.2d 37, 39 (1944) (internal quotations and citations omitted)).
Feliciano v. 7-Eleven, Inc., 210 W. Va. 740, 745, 559 S.E.2d 713, 718 (2001). Furthermore,
[t]he sources determinative of public policy are, among others, our federal and state constitutions, our public statutes, our judicial decisions, the applicable principles of the common law, the acknowledged prevailing concepts of the federal and state governments relating to and affecting the safety, health, morals and general welfare of the people for whom government--with us--is factually established.
Morris v. Consolidation Coal Co., 191 W. Va. 426, 433 n.5, 446 S.E.2d 648, 655 n.5 (1994) (quoting Cordle v. General Hugh Mercer Corp., 174 W. Va. at 325, 325 S.E.2d at 114) (additional citation omitted)). (See footnote 9) Finally, we note that [a] determination of the existence of public policy in West Virginia is a question of law, rather than a question of fact for a jury. Syl. pt. 1, Cordle v. General Hugh Mercer Corp., 174 W. Va. 321, 325 S.E.2d 111 (1984).
Considering the unique set of facts before us, we look to the Certain Remedy Clause of the West Virginia Constitution to determine the effect of public policy upon the application of the borrowing statute to the circumstances presented in the instant case. Pursuant to the Certain Remedy Clause, [t]he courts of this State shall be open, and every person, for an injury done to him, in his person, property or reputation, shall have remedy by due course of law; and justice shall be administered without sale, denial or delay. W. Va. Const. Art. III, § 17. In other words, when a legislative enactment either substantially impairs vested rights or severely limits existing procedural remedies permitting court adjudication of cases, then the certain remedy provision of Article III, Section 17 of the West Virginia Constitution is implicated. Syl. pt. 6, in part, Gibson v. West Virginia Dep't of Highways, 185 W. Va. 214, 406 S.E.2d 440 (1991). See also Syl. pt. 5, Lewis v. Canaan Valley Resorts, Inc., 185 W. Va. 684, 408 S.E.2d 634 (1991) (setting out two-part analysis for determining if legislation implicates Certain Remedy Clause). Thus, the Certain Remedy Clause prevents application of a statute that improperly denies a citizen his or her right to seek redress in the courts of this State for injuries received in West Virginia. See, e.g., Kyriazis v. University of West Virginia, 192 W. Va. 60, 450 S.E.2d 649 (1994) (finding anticipatory release that served as absolute bar to injury claims by rugby player violated Certain Remedy Clause). (See footnote 10)
The record in this case indicates that Mrs. Willey had to undergo corrective surgery in West Virginia as a direct result of the alleged negligence of Dr. Bracken. By virtue of the emergency surgeries to correct her ruptured sigmoid colon, Mrs. Willey was subjected to additional invasions of her body, which caused her to sustain pain, suffering, and economic loss in West Virginia that was directly caused by the alleged negligence of Dr. Bracken in Ohio. (See footnote 11) Cf Bevins v. West Virginia Office of the Ins. Comm'r, No. 35548, ___ W. Va. ___, ___, ___ S.E.2d ___, ___, slip op. at 16 (October 14, 2010) (all normal consequences from a compensable injury are, themselves, compensable.).
The public policy issue we herein discuss is illustrated by the Supreme Court of Virginia in the case of Webb v. Smith, 276 Va. 305, 661 S.E.2d 457 (2008). In Webb, the plaintiff's doctor had agreed to perform two procedures on the plaintiff in a single surgery. (See footnote 12) The physician performed one procedure as planned, but forgot to perform the other. (See footnote 13) As a result, the plaintiff subsequently had to undergo a second surgery and endure a second round of trauma, associated pain and suffering, and mental anguish. Webb, 276 Va. at 307, 661 S.E.2d at 458. The plaintiff was allowed to recover damages for the second surgery that was required as a direct result of negligence during a first surgery. See also Martin v. Rosomoff, 370 So. 2d 1228, 1229-30 (Fla. App. 1979) (permitting plaintiff to recover damages for subsequent surgeries required as result of negligence in first surgery, and commenting that the negligent act of leaving the clip in plaintiff's back clearly and undoubtedly necessitated the subsequent surgical procedures to remove the clip. . . . [I]ts presence necessitated the plaintiff-wife to undergo two additional surgical procedures, the cost for which the plaintiff-husband became responsible. Thus, the defendant's negligence was the unequivocal proximate cause of some damage to the plaintiffs.); Edenfield v. Vahid, 621 So. 2d 1192 (La. Ct. App. 1993) (same); Bauer v. White, 95 Wash. App. 663, 669, 976 P.2d 664, 668 (1999) (same, and commenting that, [u]nder these circumstances, the physician's negligence is the 'unequivocal proximate cause of some damage,' including the additional surgical procedure (quoting Martin v. Rosomoff, 370 So. 2d at 1229-30) (emphasis added)).
We are cognizant that, in the Webb case discussed above, the plaintiff sued
only for her second injury. Presumably, in the instant case, the Willeys could have
maintained a cause of action solely for the subsequent surgeries Mrs. Willey underwent in
West Virginia. However, the Willeys exercised their right to seek damages for all of the
injuries directly caused by Dr. Bracken, and the public policy of this State demands that they
be allowed to seek full redress, not partial redress, in a West Virginia court. Consequently,
we now hold that, when a cause of action is filed in a West Virginia court seeking damages
for a surgical procedure that was negligently performed in a foreign jurisdiction, along with
damages for a subsequent surgical procedure performed in West Virginia as a direct result
of the negligence in the foreign jurisdiction, public policy demands that the applicable West
Virginia statute of limitations applies to the negligence committed in the foreign jurisdiction.
Under these unique circumstances, the West Virginia borrowing statute, W. Va. Code § 55-
2A-2 (1959) (Repl. Vol. 2008), has no application. (See footnote 14)
We have not reached this result lightly. We fully recognize the Legislature's intent in enacting W. Va. Code § 55-2A-2, and in bright-line fact patterns the borrowing statute can achieve its purpose. However, to apply the borrowing statute to the unique facts of this case would deny the Willey's their constitutional right to full redress for their injuries. This Court has repeatedly acknowledged its duty to 'avoid whenever possible [an application] of a statute which leads to absurd, inconsistent, unjust or unreasonable results.' State v. Kerns, 183 W. Va. 130, 135, 394 S.E.2d 532, 537 (1990). Peters v. Rivers Edge Min., Inc., 224 W. Va. 160, 176, 680 S.E.2d 791, 807 (2009). If this court applied W. Va. Code § 55-2A-2 to the facts of this case, it would cause both an absurd and an unjust result.
When a surgical procedure is negligently performed in a foreign jurisdiction, and as a direct result of that negligence the plaintiff/patient must undergo a subsequent surgical procedure in West Virginia, does the West Virginia borrowing statute, W. Va. Code § 55-2A-2, apply?
Having answered the foregoing certified question, as reformulated, we remand this matter
to the Circuit Court of Ohio County for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.